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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

883 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 883
Reviews: 484
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 2,682
Gots: 170 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Portsmouth Kate The Great Alström Bros
Ratings: 883 | Reviews: 484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trbergman


4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle (Feb 2009 release) poured into a tulip.

A - Jet black body with a lace of light brown head.

S - Strong aroma comprises dark fruits such as raisin and fig, vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, espresso, and an oxidized, sherry note.

T - A cocoa-like flavor is the single strongest in this beer, yet it doesn't dominate. Kate is also very fruity, with tastes of dark fruits - raisin and fig - as well as a bit of cherry. Caramel and vanilla combine for a hint of creme brulee. Hop bitterness is low to moderate for the style, with little to no hop flavor. Some warming alcohol is present, but as a welcome addition, and there is a complementary sherry flavor. The finish is warm and sweet.

M - Lazy carbonation and smooth, full body lead to a viscous, syrupy mouthfeel.

D - Kate is a very compelling beer: with every sip, there is something new to discover, so I find myself sipping faster than might be prudent. This is a dangerously drinkable 9.5 percent. If it were more easily available, I could see myself enjoying it rather often.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 06:14:58 | More by trbergman
Photo of seangibbs60


4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

01-18-2014 05:59:18 | More by seangibbs60
Photo of mrandypandy


4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

06-17-2013 17:07:56 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

08 written in marker on front, silver cap. Had her in my cellar for far too long. Nice crisp pop when opened and poured into my snifter. Slow rising seductive cappucino tan head. Quite frothy two fingers with a nice mound of tiny little bubbles in the middle. Very dark brown 95% black in appearance.
Dark cherry & plum underlying sweetness on the aroma with some deep, dark chocolate whiffs. Rounding it all off is just a touch of phenol. Truly intoxicating & enjoyable.
Galaxy lacing in the glass. Oily on the lips, dark fruit hop bitter on the nose. Prickly carb more fruit. Dark chocolate bitterness ensues. Nice and tannic, super complex. Subtely hot alcoholy with a syrupy green hoppy mouthfeel. Finishes hoppy and chocolate bitter. The growler in had in 2007 was a tad better than this, but regardless this is one fine RIS.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 20:56:34 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of Sycodrummer


5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap from the Brewpub. Was presented to me in a 10oz. glass the beer was pitch black with a half-finger of tan/beige head. The head itself was thick and frothy alla cappucino. No outright signs of carbonation, but an impressive sheet of lace formed all down the sides of the glass and lasted throughout the sample. The head retained well as well throughout the sample.

The smell was innitially of darker fruits. Plum and fig are coming through quick nicely with an aromatic blend of roasted malt and alcohol. Also black coffee and slight bitter chocolate in the nose.

The taste releases the fruit flavors quite nicely. The plum and fig taste almost chocolate covered with bitter-sweet chocolate. Roasted (almost burnt) black coffee flavors and a slight but no too strong alcoholic warming. The beer is exceptionally smooth for a 10.5% ABV brew. No aggressive bitterness only that which comes from the chocolate tastes.

The mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. An even consistancy and balance to all the flavors. Not an assertive brew that screams alcohol, but raher more mellow and subtlely warming.

This was a great imperial stout in my opinion. It gets all 5's but in a very different way than my other all 5's (as of 10/3/05): Sam Smith Imperial Stout. This Impy has a much more fruitty flavor like a good port wine and is perfect to sip and enjoy after a meal. A very strong offering from the small brewpub.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2005 23:21:14 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of ObiWanKushnobi


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

10-29-2012 02:16:04 | More by ObiWanKushnobi
Photo of SalMineo


4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

03-19-2012 14:30:27 | More by SalMineo
Photo of lightindarkness


5/5  rDev +9.9%

11-14-2011 20:11:20 | More by lightindarkness
Photo of splendidsplinter


5/5  rDev +9.9%

03-06-2012 13:03:02 | More by splendidsplinter
Photo of TheBronze


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

03-10-2013 07:21:34 | More by TheBronze
Photo of spdyfire83


2.83/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

102nd Review
Bottle to snifter
Vintage 2008

From notes. I was looking for the "right time" to crack this mini-whale and that was just before I departed the States to move to Ireland. Enjoyed with bspringer and mtep13.

A: Deep mahogany. A few light mocha bubbles on medium pour.

S: Cocoa, roasted malt, figs, and molasses. Hint of oak and caramel. Not as inviting as I had hoped.

T: Faint dark chocolate raisins with hints of oak, coffee, and brown sugar. Almost boring. A bit too sweet for my liking and almost no defined balance. Muddled mess here - I'm guessing that has to do with the age of it which is quite a bummer.

M: Full bodied with almost no carbonation. I wish it were thicker - especially considering the style.

O: A disappointment for sure, but I can only blame myself (I think). I sat on this too long and made the mistake of acquiring a vintage beer that seems to not age well over time. I'd be willing to give this one another shot, but I would caution anyone out there from cellaring this beer.

I will re-review it when this one comes across my glass again.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 13:48:44 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of KevinmusPrime


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

11-09-2013 23:24:35 | More by KevinmusPrime
Photo of pest


4/5  rDev -12.1%

11-18-2011 02:22:13 | More by pest
Photo of stevefinny

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +9.9%

12-04-2011 14:38:07 | More by stevefinny
Photo of cbeer88


5/5  rDev +9.9%

11-14-2011 15:12:22 | More by cbeer88
Photo of VAbdoyan


4/5  rDev -12.1%

06-15-2014 02:45:16 | More by VAbdoyan
Photo of BeRanger


4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 KTG poured into my Portsmouth Tulip.

A: Pours jet black, mahogony rim, hardly any head on it.

S: Chocolate, Roasted Malts, Coffee, Vanilla, Red Wine.

T: Given the high ABV, the booze is definitely hidden in the small and the taste. Rich chocolate, coffee and roasted flavor. It has a red wine complexity to it nice from the port barrels which was nice.

M: Full bodied, rich and creamy - very smooth.

O: I really do like the beer however I dont know it lived up to the hype but nowadays, what really does? Certainly fantastic and I'd love to have more but given the value on the 11.2oz bottle, it wouldnt be my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 23:17:48 | More by BeRanger
Photo of jdklks


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

08 Vintage. My first Kate=2 year old Kate! Thanks Jagger.

The beer pours a thick body, with a slightly lighter color than anticipated. light amber edges when backlit, and a small light brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves not a trace. Great, fruity smell. a little less pungent than would be desirable. Cherries all over the place. Some plum and a bit of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Smells very sweet all around, with only a hint of bitter roast.

Wow. KTG does not disappoint, as I was expecting it might. The smell is actually a little misleading, and the beer is roasty throughout. Sweeter up front, with cherries, plum, and currants. Chocolate, vanilla, and molasses with a hint of toffee dominate the middle and even the finish. It is very sweet, as the smell suggests, but it is nicely balanced with a coffee-like roastiness in the finish and aftertaste. Call me crazy, seeing that this is a 2 year old imperial stout, but there is a nice, subtle hop flavor coming through in the aftertaste. A very good RIS, and worthy of its 8 spot.

Mouthfeel is very, very awesomely thick, but gets a half point deduction for being ever-so-slightly undercarbonated. The sweetness, thickness, and ABV dont combine to give this the greatest drinkability, but I definitely dont think I'll have any trouble finishing the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 03:07:03 | More by jdklks
Photo of nootch23


5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A friend of mine obtained a fresh 2012 bottle in a trade and after hearing so much about it we were anxious to break it open and see if it met our expectations. It exceeded them to the point that it became the best beer I've ever had. Everything about this beer was perfect. We spent a good 3 minutes just smelling this stout in our snifters. The smell was creamy with a hints of coffee and chocolate. A sweet smell.

You want to know about taste? Holy cannoli! The taste was incredible. A very subtle taste of coffee, chocolate, and malts. One of the smoothest stouts I've ever had. Not boozy at all. Couldn't even taste the 12%.

I can't say enough about this gem. Hands down one of the best beers I've ever had and certainly the best imperial stouts out there. Trying to get a hold of a bottle to age for a bit and have for a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 20:11:02 | More by nootch23
Photo of thetomG


4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

Dark brown and (surprisingly) even a little bit transparent around the edges... spotty lacing left around the glass.

Smell is a bit subdued (pretty much the same aromas that you'd expect out of any good RIS), but the flavor is almost completely unique - and in a really really fantastic & complex way. Dark fruits, raisins, molasses, licorice, etc... all layered upon one another but blending together extremely well - The port aging changes this one into something that stands apart from almost any other big stout I've tried. Each sip is a pleasure unto itself. Amazing stuff.

While this is clearly thinner than others in the style, it is certainly not too thin by any means - the overall mouthfeel and carbonation seem spot-on for this particular beer. Quite lovely.

HIGHLY recommended and definitely worthy of the hype. GREAT beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 22:01:16 | More by thetomG
Photo of ScreamForMe


5/5  rDev +9.9%

11-15-2011 21:26:26 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of Miamilice


5/5  rDev +9.9%

12-05-2011 22:27:57 | More by Miamilice
Photo of muttyd


4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Review is from notes)

Big thanks to fellow BA Jespo80 for sharing this one.

A - Deep black pour with a thin head that quickly fades into a faint ring. Carbonation appears to be typical of Portsmouth beers.

S - Big chocolate/sweet raisin aroma. Roasted malts take a backseat to the sweet dark chocolate candy bar aroma.

T - Follows the nose. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts without being cloyingly sweet. This is one excellent beer. Tried this at an Abyss vertical tasting and this beer stood out above the rest.

M - The moderate to low carbonation give this one a rather silky/creamy mouth feel.

D - I truly wish Portsmouth would produce more than the 900 bottles they produce very year. Overall, a solid imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 19:26:23 | More by muttyd
Photo of DrDogbeer


4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at hte brewery- my first one at aproximately 2:32 p.m. on tuesday. I think I was the 9th or 10th pour. Poured into a tulip glass. Very, very black. Nice 2 finger tan head. No light gets through this one. Maybe a tinge of redness at the bottom of the tulip when held up to the light. Smell is very inviting and warming- lots of roasted malt flavor, coffee and chocolate. Little bit of alcohol in the back to boot. Taste is similar. Extremely smooth, but tons of different flavors. THe coffe and chocolate come to the front, but there is also some alcohol, some light hops flavor for a bitter kick, and I also get some dark fruit and cherries. Great mouthfeel, little bit oily. Extremely drinkable for an ris. I can have a few of these at a sitting. (and I did)

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2008 13:21:38 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of mullenite


4.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black with a one finger medium to dark tan head. Decent retention but not a whole lot of lacing.

Smell is sweeter than most imperial stouts with a lot of caramel, molasses and port notes. Not a whole lot of roast or chocolate comes through the nose.

Taste is very similar to the nose but with more chocolate flavors and some added alcohol heat. The alcohol was a nice touch though and not overpowering.

Medium bodied with lower carbonation (which is something I prefer in all of my beers, especially stouts.)

Overall this beer is worth seeking out once, if it were easier to get it would be a favorite but I don't think it is worth what it trades for.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 04:20:28 | More by mullenite
Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 883 ratings.